Counting My Blessings

Today, I am reflecting on how thankful I am for all the blessings the Lord has allowed in my life over the last eighteen months.  Those who know our family know that there has been many challenges during that time. Illnesses, surgeries, a serious accident, tests, more surgeries, sickness, and did I mention surgeries?   It would have been so easy to get discouraged, to become resentful and blame others for the events that lead to the accident, to rale against the illnesses that required surgeries and even to get angry at the repeated attacks that seem to go on endlessly against our close family. Some would even go so far as to blame God for all the mess and mishaps.

I have a very different take on what our family has experienced during this time. I won’t down play the difficulties and the pain and exhaustion of the experience for it is very real.  However, the benefits such as the love and faithfulness of God, the wonderful people who He graciously surrounded us with, seeing Him work in seemingly impossible situations and seeing His glory in our lives have made it not only bearable but a blessing.  We have been learning recently the importance of the blessing. We have joined some new friends along with our regular Bible study to do some Torah Studies in advance of a trip to Israel.  Our latest study was on the blessing. In Hebraic tradition the blessing is an important part of life. In our daily lives we may occasionally hear someone say God Bless You when someone sneezes but it isn’t really common for us to “Bless” one another.

This week we found that the Blessing was intentional and was a wonderful gift that we can give one another. The blessing was said whenever a loved one was going beyond sight. It’s purpose was to bring assurance, affirmations, protection, honor, and success. The Hebrew word barukh   (bless) means to be endowed by God with power for success, prosperity, long life and fruits that remain. The context of our lesson was the blessing that was spoken over the Israelites by Aaron:

22 The Lord said to Moses, 23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:

24 “‘“The Lord bless you  and keep you;

25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’

In a day like ours when words are tossed about carelessly and without forethought, what would happen if we set out to be intentional with our words? What if we chose our words carefully and did not miss the opportunity to bless our children, parents, spouses, friends? What effect would it have on them, and on our world if every time they were going beyond our sight, we spoke a blessing over them. The truth of the matter is we are not promised our next breath, how wonderful it would be to know you sent your loved one off to work, school, or into the world with an encouraging word, a blessing to keep in their heart until you are once again in each others company!

Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.


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